22 Oct 2013
A survey, carried out jointly by the Major Energy Users’ Council (MEUC) and Power Efficiency, shows that more than 95 per cent of Britain’s biggest companies are investing in safeguards. This is following recent warnings from regulator Ofgem that the UK generating capacity is nearly at full stretch.
The survey, which contains the views of 129 major commercial and public sector energy users, found that 60 per cent of respondents were initiating ‘behavioural change programmes, while 50 per cent were investing in renewable energy sources. In addition, 43 per cent of the companies questioned said they were installing onsite generation.
According to the Ofgem, spare capacity could fall from today’s 14 per cent level to less than 5 per cent in three years, with a risk of blackouts starting in the winter of 2015-16.
Of the businesses surveyed, 35 per cent said the Carbon Price Floor, introduced this year at £16 per tonne of carbon emissions is a cost which will need to be passed on to their customers by increasing the prices of their products and services.
The survey also revealed that more than 90 per cent of the respondents think energy inflation “poses a major threat to UK competitiveness”.
Andrew Buckley, director general of the MEUC, said: “The parlous state of energy supply will come as little surprise to many in industry who have watched politicians sleep walk into this crisis of their own making. Whilst the relative merits of affordability, security of supply and environmental protection will continue no doubt to feature in the run up to the next election, business customers are having to take their energy future into their own hands now, as evidenced by the results of this survey.”
Source: Utility Week, 22nd October 2013